NCF Nation: 2011-conference-aateam

ESPN.com's 2011 All-Big 12 Team

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:30
AM ET
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

It's been a fun season across the Big 12, with a few big names who didn't play as well as we thought, and lots of unknowns who became household names by the end of the season.

I'll offer my comments below, but here's our All-Big 12 team for 2011.

OFFENSE

[+] EnlargeRobert Griffin III
Jerome Miron/US PresswireThe heroics of Robert Griffin III got Baylor to 9-3 and made him a Heisman Trophy finalist.
QB: Robert Griffin III, Baylor
All-purpose: Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
RB: Terrance Ganaway, Baylor
RB: Henry Josey, Missouri
FB: Trey Millard, Oklahoma
WR: Kendall Wright, Baylor
WR: Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
WR: Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
TE: Michael Egnew, Missouri
C: Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
OL: Kelechi Osemele, Iowa State
OL: Levy Adcock, Oklahoma State
OL: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
OL: Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

DEFENSE

DE: Frank Alexander, Oklahoma
DT: Dominique Hamilton, Missouri
DE: Alex Okafor, Texas
DE: Jamie Blatnick, Oklahoma State
LB: Sean Porter, Texas A&M
LB: Jake Knott, Iowa State
LB: Emmanuel Acho, Texas
NB: Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma
CB: Nigel Malone, Kansas State
CB: Carrington Byndom, Texas
S: Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S: Markelle Martin, Oklahoma State

SPECIALISTS

P: Quinn Sharp, Oklahoma State
PK: Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
PR: Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
KR: Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

Finally, a few notes and explanations:

  • I loved the media's idea to craft an all-purpose spot to accomodate Collin Klein. The Big Ten did the same for Michigan's Denard Robinson last season. I followed suit, and did so on the defensive side of the ball with a nickel-back spot for Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson. Two players that missed first-team designation by the coaches, but clearly deserve to be recognized.
  • Additionally, I prefer the teams to reflect the Big 12 style of play, so the nickel back fits. Each team doesn't have 11 players, but there were deserving linebackers. The same with Egnew and Millard. Does every team use a fullback or a tight end? No, but both are standout performers. They'd rotate in anyway, just as Jefferson would in a theoretical package.
  • Tough call to leave Philip Blake from Baylor off my team, but Garner's been better. Blake is very, very close, though.
  • Hated to leave off Brodrick Brown and E.J. Gaines, but I went with a more traditional two corners and two safeties, rather than four corners like the media's team.
  • Steven Johnson and Arthur Brown would have been right behind my three linebackers. That race was probably closer than at any other position, except maybe cornerback. Difficult to leave either of those guys off my first team, but the three on the team were better. I gave Brown my Newcomer of the Year nod, though.
  • I don't like going with three defensive ends and one defensive tackle, but there wasn't a defensive tackle who deserved the honor more than Okafor, my third defensive end. Okafor was a defensive tackle last year anyway, so that's close enough, right? He moved from tackle to end before spring practice earlier this year. In the Big 12, an additional pass rusher is necessary, too, right?
  • I made a similar move with my offensive line. Went tackle-heavy, but the guards didn't have quite as many standouts.

ESPN.com's ACC all-conference team

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:30
AM ET
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

ESPN.com is announcing its all-conference teams, and there was only one change here from the all-conference ACC team that the members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association voted on in late November. Offensively, the biggest toss-up was Wake Forest receiver Chris Givens versus UNC’s Dwight Jones, but Givens did more with fewer catches. Defensively, it was difficult. I can understand why Virginia Tech and Florida State coaches and players felt slighted, but in the end, there were better individual performances elsewhere. Here’s a look at ESPN.com’s All-ACC team:


ESPN.com All-Pac-12 team

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:30
AM ET
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

It's time for our annual All-Pac-12 team, which as usual includes some tough distinctions.

Receiver was the most difficult position: California's Keenan Allen and USC's Marqise Lee would be first-team choices in most conferences.

We tapped Andrew Luck over Matt Barkley at quarterback. Tough call. Utah's John White fell just short at running back.

The offensive line was easy (it might be the strongest all-conference line in the nation with three potential first-round NFL draft picks). We opted to use a 3-4 defense to get more linebackers. We also decided to designate cornerbacks and safeties in the secondary instead of just picking three safeties, a much stronger position than corner this season.

You can see the coaches' All-Pac-12 picks here.

And here's my Pac-12 All-Underrated team.

Offense
QB Andrew Luck, Stanford
RB LaMichael James, Oregon
RB Chris Polk, Washington
WR Robert Woods, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, Washington State
TE Coby Fleener, Stanford
OL Jonathan Martin, Stanford
OL Matt Kalil, USC
OL David DeCastro, Stanford
OL Mitchell Schwartz, California
OL Tony Bergstrom, Utah

Defense
DE Nick Perry, USC
DT Star Lotulelei, Utah
DE Derrick Shelby, Utah
LB Mychal Kendricks, California
LB Chase Thomas, Stanford
LB Cort Dennison, Washington
LB Josh Kaddu, Oregon
CB Nickell Robey, USC
CB Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
S Delano Howell, Stanford
S T.J. McDonald, USC

Specialists
K Andre Heidari, USC
P Bryan Anger, California
KR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

The envelope, please ...

OFFENSE

QB: Russell Wilson, Wisconsin
RB: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
RB: Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
WR: Marvin McNutt, Iowa
WR: B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State
TE: Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern
OL: David Molk, Michigan
OL: Kevin Zeitler, Wisconsin
OL: Peter Konz, Wisconsin
OL: Joel Foreman, Michigan State
OL: Reilly Reiff, Iowa

DEFENSE

DL: Whitney Mercilus, Illinois
DL: Devon Still, Penn State DL: Jerel Worthy, Michigan State
DL: John Simon, Ohio State LB: Lavonte David, Nebraska
LB:
Gerald Hodges, Penn State
LB: Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
CB: Alfonzo Dennard, Nebraska
CB: Johnny Adams, Michigan State
S: Trenton Robinson, Michigan State
S: Nick Sukay, Penn State

SPECIALISTS

P: Anthony Fera, Penn State
K: Brett Maher, Nebraska
KR: Raheem Mostert, Purdue
PR: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin

Comments: We said before the season that the strength in the Big Ten lay in the interior lines, and that is illustrated in our picks. Still and Worthy had All-American seasons, and Simon was great as well. We didn't even have room for Michigan's Mike Martin, who had a terrific season. Our offensive line has two centers in Molk and Konz (two Rimington Trophy finalists) because we thought that position was much stronger than tackle. (Konz has played guard in his career, so we could figure it out if we actually had to play with this team). Some of our toughest choices came at the second receiver spot, where we liked Cunningham's production down the stretch far more than A.J. Jenkins' early numbers for an Illinois team that faded badly; the third linebacker spot, where we could have gone with Taylor's teammate Chris Borland or Illinois' Jonathan Brown; and the second safety selection, where we chose Sukay over Northwestern's Brian Peters, Minnesota's Kim Royston or Wisconsin's Aaron Henry because we felt Sukay made a big impact on a better defense. Lastly, only eight players who we chose on our preseason All-Big Ten team ended up on our official postseason squad. That shows how much things can change from season to season -- and it also shows that maybe our prognosticating skills need some improvement.

ESPN.com All-Big East team

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:30
AM ET
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

You saw what the coaches had to say when they picked the All-Big East team. Now it is my turn. I only have a few different opinions than the coaches. To start, West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey is on my first team over Tavon Austin. Bailey finished with more yards; Austin with more receptions. But I thought Bailey was a little more consistent over the course of the entire season.

I also have West Virginia defensive lineman Julian Miller on the first team ahead of Bruce Irvin. Miller got off to a slow start, mostly because he was hobbled with an injury. But late in the season with games on the line, he was almost unstoppable. Pitt running back Ray Graham also gets a nod even though he missed the final five games of the season with a knee injury.

Without further adieu:

OFFENSE

QB: Geno Smith, West Virginia

RB: Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati

RB: Ray Graham, Pitt

OT: Don Barclay, West Virginia

OT: Justin Pugh, Syracuse

C: Joe Madsen, West Virginia

OG: Randy Martinez, Cincinnati

OG: Andrew Tiller, Syracuse

WR: Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers

WR: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

DEFENSE

DL: Julian Miller, West Virginia

DL: Kendall Reyes, UConn

DL: Derek Wolfe, Cincinnati

DL: Chandler Jones, Syracuse

LB: JK Schaffer, Cincinnati

LB: Najee Goode, West Virginia

LB: Khaseem Greene, Rutgers

S: Hakeem Smith, Louisville

S: Duron Harmon, Rutgers

CB: Adrian Bushell, Louisville

CB: Keith Tandy, West Virginia

SPECIALISTS

PK: Dave Teggart, UConn

P: Pat O'Donnell, Cincinnati

RS: Tavon Austin, West Virginia

ESPN.com's 2011 All-SEC team

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:30
AM ET
Editor’s Note: Tune into the “AT&T ESPN All America Team Show” on Saturday (ABC, 1:30 p.m. ET) to see who ESPN’s writers and experts selected.

Constructing an all-conference team is never easy. There are always players you second-guess or just remember at the last minute.

The tough decisions have to be made and that means not everyone can make the team.

We just don't have enough room for hundreds of players.

We struggled with a couple of decisions, starting with the quarterback position. We gave the nod to Aaron Murray over Tyler Wilson. We understand that Wilson led the SEC in yards (3,422), but Murray did more with less. Wilson was working with four top-tier wide receivers, while Murray simply wasn't. He still led the SEC with 32 touchdown passes, threw 19 them in the last six games and led Georgia back to the SEC title game.

It was also hard to leave Zac Stacy off this list. Michael Dyer was Auburn's most valuable player, and that 7-5 record might not have been possible without him. He was second in the SEC in rushing (1,242) and was the only back besides Trent Richardson to average more than 100 yards in SEC games. But Stacy was great, too. He averaged a yard more per carry (5.7) than Dyer in SEC play, had more total touchdowns (13) and averaged 126 yards in each of his last six games.

We also decided to go with a 3-4 defense because we felt linebackers deserved a little more love this year.

Here's our team:

OFFENSE

TE - Orson Charles, Georgia
OL - Barrett Jones, Alabama
OL - Will Blackwell, LSU
OL - Cordy Glenn, Georgia
OL - Rokevious Watkins, South Carolina
C - William Vlachos, Alabama
WR - Jarius Wright, Arkansas
WR - Rueben Randle, LSU
QB – Aaron Murray, Georgia
RB – Trent Richardson, Alabama
RB – Michael Dyer, Auburn
AP - Chris Rainey, Florida

DEFENSE

DL - Melvin Ingram, South Carolina
DL - Fletcher Cox, Mississippi State
DL - Sam Montgomery, LSU
LB - Jarvis Jones, Georgia
LB - Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
LB - Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
LB - Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
DB - Morris Claiborne, LSU
DB - Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
DB - Mark Barron, Alabama
DB - Bacarri Rambo, Georgia

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK - Caleb Sturgis, Florida
P - Brad Wing, LSU
RS – Joe Adams, Arkansas

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